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Devils Notebook: Another Forward Hits the Shelf & More Updates

The Devils are in injury limbo despite Nico Hischier returning as Erik Haula hits the shelf.



Devils Notebook: Another Forward Hits the Shelf & More Updates

The New Jersey Devils got back to work on Monday after receiving Sunday off.

It was a polarizing weekend following a disappointing loss on Friday to the Columbus Blue Jackets. However, everyone’s spirits were promptly lifted when captain Nico Hischier was lifted from injured reserve and placed into the lineup. Hischier’s presence seemingly restored balance to the Devils lineup in their 7-2 dominant victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

On Monday morning, we eagerly awaited the arrival of Timo Meier for the morning skate. However, the Devils’ power forward was absent from skate. head coach Lindy Ruff stated he’s not ready to practice with the team yet.

Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula were also missing from skate. We anticipated Nosek as he still has yet to fully recover from the hit he sustained by Jacob Trouba and he was placed on IR. Unfortunately for Haula, Ruff clarified after practice that the 32-year-old forward is unlikely available for the Devils’ tilt with the New York Islanders on Tuesday night. Haula was injured against the Sabres and missed the third period.

“We’re still evaluating (Erik),” Ruff explained. “It doesn’t look like he’ll be available with not practicing today. We’ll see where he’s at.”

Monday’s 5-on-5 workflow didn’t change too much. However, Curtis Lazar returned to practice as a full participant. He took Haula’s spot on a line with Alexander Holtz and Michael McLeod. He’ll be available for Tuesday and certainly sounds like he’s going to play.

“I pushed to play in the Buffalo game,” Lazar explained. “It was just a good, old-fashioned Charlie Horse. I’ve had plenty of ’em but it just kind of trended in the wrong direction. I wanted to go, but just talking to the staff, my game is surrounded by my speed and my legs. So, when I’m not at 100%, it’s taking away from what I can offer. I understand the conservative route, but I’m good to go now.”

Brendan Smith, who made an impact at forward over the weekend, practiced at both forward and defense.

Chris Tierney took a puck to the face and was bloodied during drills. However, he got stitched up and remained in practice. There were even some words of encouragement from Smith shouting to Tierney that he’s “a warrior.” Hockey players are certainly built differently that way.

Devils Workflow:

Palat – Hischier – Bratt

Toffoli – Hughes – Mercer

Holtz – McLeod – Lazar

Smith / Willman – Tierney – Bastian

Siegenthaler – Hamilton

Bahl – Marino / Smith

Hughes – Miller

Devils Special Teams Units

Power Play 1

Toffoli, Jack, Nico, Bratt and Luke

Power Play 2

Palat, Mercer, Holtz, Bastian, and Hamilton

Penalty Kill 1

McLeod, Lazar, Marino, and Bahl/Miller

Penalty Kill 2

Smith, Siegenthaler, Tierney, Willman

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